BrokenTV's Belated Tribute To Patrick Allen

  • 9/01/2006 02:14:00 am
  • By Mark Gibbings-Jones


For the benefit of those who didn't know (quite likely, as most newspapers didn't really mention it), Patrick Allen recently passed away. In case you're not sure who he is (you might be one of the people who still stumble across this site looking for information on Miff Daniels*, for instance), he owned the most iconic voiceover voice of the last thirty years.

(*While we're still Googleranked highly for the gormless berk, we may as well make a running gag out of it.)

After going from various jobbing actor roles (including Dial M for Murder, Hitchophiles), he was picked to narrate the UK Governments infamous (not to mention shit-scary) Protect and Survive films, and as such could very well have been the last voice ever heard on British television. Luckily for his burgeoning career as a voice-over artist (oh, and the entirety of the world's population), it wasn't (mark you, it's not a bad way to go out), and he soon ended up re-recording some of his shit-scary lines for the best record Frankie Goes To Hollywood ever did. From there, he turned up as the announcer for the first, underrated series of Blackadder, making a very welcome appearance as an actual actor in the final episode.

After several years of advert voiceover work, most famously occasionally in-vision for Barratt Homes (man, we need to get a YouTube clip up for that), he turned up as announcer for seminal comedy shows Vic Reeves' Big Night Out, and The Smell Of Reeves and Mortimer (in vision for a pre-episode-one promo for the former, and a great episode of the latter, minutae fans!). From that point on, his iconic delivery was used for all manner of (we wish we could think of a better phrase than this...) hip and groovy voiceover work, probably including TFI Friday, we shouldn't wonder.

Latterly, he became known as 'The Voice of E4', even making an excellent on-screen appearance in a promo for E4 Music's output, and Christian O'Connell's XFM Breakfast Show (and his Virgin Radio Show, but that was a bit rubbish, and reduced Patrick to promoting their many EVIL CORPORATE SPONSORS).

Something that seems to have been missed in the (despressingly few) tributes paid to Sir Patrick Allen (as he should have been known) is his most recent contribution to the World Of Excellent Pop Music, this time for Danish noise merchants Lazyboy**. Their 2004 opus Lazyboy TV (which BrokenTV liked before you, we're going to inappropriately add at this point) featured spoken word vocals from a number of well-known UK and US voice talent, most notably including Mr Patrick Allen, who popped up on several tracks on the album which you really all should go out and buy, right this instant.

(**Known as Lazy B for the 2006 re-release of their single, as it seems the sofa manufacturer of a similar name to their proper title insisted they make the change. Perhaps lots of people purchased their album (which we liked before you, remember), mistaking it for a reclining armchair. For flip's sake.)

As part of BrokenTV's ongoing public service remit (and not just because we've finally found it on an old hard-drive chucked into our IcyBox), we've uncovered the pop video for Lazyboy's ace single 'Inhale Positivity', which features the last time Sir Patrick Allen ever lends his voice to an excellent pop single, and thrown it at the now-blocked-from-BrokenTV's-workplace's-servers YouTube.

We implore you watch it now, and heed the words of Sir Patrick. RIP.

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